The Climb

Posted: March 25, 2009 by Xtreme Couture MMA in Uncategorized

dustin5In this crazy world of mma there is what all fighters call “The Beginning”.  The beginning is merely the rise of a fighter’s career from small shows, usually in a bar or some small arena packed with a bunch of locals that are drunk of the venues draws and yelling “kick his ass”.  You have to love their passion and vast knowledge of the sport.  Anyhow during this time a fighter has to fight as often as he or she possibly can to get their name out.  The more fights and, hopefully, wins they amass, the more likely they will be to become recognized.  For most fighters it takes years of these small shows, backhanded promoters and a lot of their own expense just to turn something they love into a profession.  I am like a lot of those guys.  I came from the Midwest circuit, fighting every couple of months.  I would have fought more frequently if I could have, but promoters can only afford to throw so many shows.  Quite often, scheduled fights have fallen through due to lack of money.  This is probably the most common frustration that a young fighter has to deal with.  While you’re busy getting ready, training hard, and dieting, hungry for that win, you get a call: “Sorry bro, we couldn’t get licensed,” or “We couldn’t find you an opponent,” or my personal favorite, “We lost the financial backers.”  These are some of the most popular quotes among small time promoters.  Now I’m not dogging the promoter, especially in this economy.  I am however dogging the ones that take advantage of the young fighters, pay them very little and sometimes don’t even pay for travel.  This unfortunately is the chance we take just trying to get noticed.  The worst feeling in the world is getting ready for a fight, sometimes not even knowing yet who you will fight, counting on that money, then get the call that it’s been cancelled.  The money you were expecting, that extra few dollars that can catch you up on some bills is no more.  Then the panic hits, you start wondering, “What I am going to do?  I have been training so hard.”  Those feelings settle in your gut, then you start dialing as fast as you can the numbers of all the promoters you know, just trying to get on a card around the same time.  We’ve all been there.  A fortunate few are lucky enough to have a good manager that watches out for them.  Others get a manager that could care less, they just want that 20 percent.  It is a cruel world we live in, trying to push hard, fight hard, win and maybe, just maybe, get that call that can make everything change.  “Hello, this is ______ we’ve seen you fight and would like to put you on our next card.  Can you be ready?”  “Oh hell yes, who am I fighting?”  That’s the next problem.  Do you get fed to the wolves or do you get the preferential treatment that might propel you to fame and fortune?  Well hopefully you’re as beautiful as me and they love your image so skies the limit, ha-ha.  All kidding aside, it doesn’t matter who you are, we have all had to come up through the ranks and most of us are still making that climb. Hold your head up high and keep pushing, because your day will come as long as you believe.  I always go by my motto, B.U.F.F. ©, Believe, Understand, Focus, and Fulfill. What I mean is, no matter what, you have to believe in yourself, understand life and everything it throws at you knowing that it’s not always going to be easy, focus on your goals, and fulfill them through hard work and dedication. Trust me, your time to shine will come.  So keep working and remember, don’t stand on the tracks when the pain train’s coming. March 24, 2009 Dustin Phillips


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